|Dr. Robert Puff|
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Highlights #1191 - Sunday, September 8,
2002 - Editor: Gloria Lee
photo by Alan Larus
Between the banks of pain and pleasure
the river of life flows. It is only when
the mind refuses to flow with life, and
gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes
a problem. By flowing with life, I mean
acceptance - letting come what comes
and go what goes. Desire not, fear not,
observe the actual, as and when it
happens, for you are not what happens,
you are to whom it happens. Ultimately
even the observer you are not.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
Gabriele Ebert SriRamana
Samsara is nothing but our thought.
Those who live spontaneous and thought-free
May seem to dwell in a body bound
And moved by Fate, but they in freedom
Roam in the boundless space of true Awareness.
Muruganar: The Garland of Guru's Sayings, v. 616
It [the dream] appears to be beginningless, but in fact it is only now.
From moment to moment you are renewing it. Once you have seen
that you are dreaming, you shall wake up. But you do not see
because you want the dream to continue. A day will come when you
will long for the ending of the dream, with all your heart and mind,
and be willing to pay the price; the price will be dispassion and
detachment, the loss of interest in the dream itself. Wanting it to
continue is not inevitable. See clearly your condition, your very
clarity will release you.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Several weeks ago, my wife and I traveled to Las Vegas for a
clothing trade show.
For years, black youth have inspired the fashion industry. Much of
American fashion comes from the inner city.
As we passed the main entrance, I noticed a group of models. There
were ten or twelve black youth still-posing, all wearing this years
They were hardly noticed by the on-rush of convention goers.
We walked past like the rest, but then I returned and stood in front of
"Oh my........You're all so beautiful".
I hadn't intended to say those words out loud.
It felt a little awkward.
I watched for any reaction from the group.......................
three seconds..............six seconds...... nothing............no one
moved.........no one blinked.......
damn.............that was a stupid thing to say..........
I was about to turn away when the young lady, third from the left,
looked into my eyes..........and broke out in the most wonderful smile.
You know........like sometimes when the sun breaks free from the
clouds and rushes over you with warmth.
I was familiar with The Smile, but everytime It comes...........the
My wife returned to where I was standing and put her arm under
We turned into the crowd...
"Did you see that smile?" I asked.
"Oh yes" she said........and smiled at me.
It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.
- Joshu Washes the Bowl, The Gateless Gate #7
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, p. 176
Translated by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki
A leaf on the river cannot dictate the rivers course.
If nations are destined to collide......individual puppets have no
power to intercede.
And yet we act, Michael. Puppets, or instruments? Your 'involuntary'
remark, heard by that child, who can say how that smile will
reverberate through her life and that of those she touches?
A very long time ago, i read a story "complete on these two pages,"
in Reader's Digest. It was about a lady and a skunk. The skunk had
trapped its head in a discarded Yoplait container. You know the ones
that narrow at the top? And the lady had all the reluctance and fear of
dealing with it. She called around to all the places she could think of,
to no avail. With no assistance forthcoming, she steeled herself and
went out and by holding the container, allowed the skunk to wiggle
itself free. She wrote there was that moment, in which they regarded
one another. And then the skunk turned and made its way back to the
woods. And she realized that sometimes, you are the agent God has
placed to do what must be done.
In all these years, never have i forgotten this story, complete on those
Jerry Katz NDS
from Vyoma: <http://www.livejournal.com/users/vyoma/>
(i learned about this from fireceremony and iamom):
September 11: Enough Day. Dubya, acting upon a joint
resolution of Congress, has declared September 11 to be
Patriot Day. According to his proclamation, we're
supposed to "...observe this day with appropriate
ceremonies and activities..." and to "...display the
flag at half-staff from their homes and observe a moment
of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT," this in honor of the
Americans who died in the terorist attack.
You know, personally I think this just stinks to hell. I
have a better idea, so I'm making a proclamation of my
own, which of course is completely unendorsed by any US
politicians I'm aware of.
I'm declaring September 11 "International Enough Day."
Enough flag-waving, enough violence, enough nationalism.
Enough already. September 11 was not an American
tragedy, it was a human tragedy. It was a tragedy not
just for the people in the US who died, but for every
innocent person killed as a result of the US reaction to
the attacks as well. It was a tragedy for the human
spirit, regardless of nationality, religion, and
On September 11, let's say "Enough." No more killing.
Let's remember not only the victims of the hijacked
airplanes in the US, but of the embassy bombings in
Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Let's remember all the
Israelis killed by Palestinian bombers and all the
Palestinians killed by Israeli troops. Let's remember
all the innocent people slain by Union Carbide in
Bhopal, India in 1984. Let's take the day to contemplate
the people who've been victims of genocidal warfare in
Africa, and the ones who've starved to death because of
political games as well. Let's remember the victims of
the Holocaust and of the firebombing of Dresden, too.
Let's not forget those who were slain in the Mai Lai
Massacre. Instead of waving the flag of one nation and
thinking only about our own dead, let's make September
11 a day to remember all the people who've died at the
hands of someone else's political agenda through no
fault of their own, and let's say enough. We should
stand up and disavow this, no matter what country we're
in, no matter what religion we are, no matter our
political affiliation or status or race or anything
If we had a moment of silence marking the time of every
attrocity ever committed in the name of nationalism,
religion... every attrocity committed in the name of the
artificial borders that try to make us forget that we're
all human, all in this together, all fragile creatures
whose lives can be snuffed out in an instant through no
fault of our own... then we would never speak again.
So we here in America should, I think, observe September
11 as the day when the nightmares that humans around the
world have been living with for decades came lumbering
ashore on the East Coast of the US. We should see it for
what it is; the day the US truly experienced the horror
that rings like a bell around the globe, from South
America to the Middle East to Micronesia, the day we
joined the human race at a most profound and fundamental
There should be no "Patriot Day," no day to further
emphasize thaty we're different. Instead, let's say
"Enough." Enough of putting the interests of any one
nation above the interests of the human race. Enough
dwelling on our small differences. Enough killing each
other over them. Enough hate, enough fear, enough
hunger, enough violence, enough bombing, enough enough
We should each find our own way of expressing this. A
moment of silence... or perhaps a day of silence.
Meditation, art, whatever it is that you do... do it.
Take the day to celebrate the lives of all of us --
wherever we're from and whatever we believe -- who are
still here, and think on those -- wherever they were,
whenever they were and whatever they were -- who weren't
so lucky. Take the day to remember the fragility of
human life and all the nightmares wrought by those who
wanted to impose their will upon the whole of humanity.
Commit no act of violence, however small. Let go of any
hatred and prejudice and thirst for revenge and, for one
day, see yourself in the other and the other in
Do whatever you do, and do it to say ENOUGH.
John Metzger NDS
David Loy - Nonduality of Good and Evil, Buddhist Reflections, New Holy War
Michael Read NDS
Re: enlightenment of earth
ah, no - not really
don't see the need for all that
a dab of love and a touch of respect
seem enough, basically what else could be needed?
clean food and water would be good
interesting things to do
should be enough - michael
oh, and fresh duffnutts alzo! yes?
James Traverse DirectApproach
I have studied directly with both Jean Klein and B K S Iyengar -
so I may be able to shed some light.
Here is the way I reconcile the approaches of both Jean Klein
(direct) and Iyengar (progressive) - they are extreme poles of the
same thing - Yoga (and each has a hint of the other in it).
Yoga means Union - it is a marriage of what appears to be
separate things - like the journey and the destination - these are
extremes of the SAME THING (each has some of the other in it).
Yoga is the journey AND the destination.
Yoga is like a Mountain with many paths.
Without the Mountain - there are no paths.
Since the Mountain already exists - the goal is already
accomplished, *all-ways* attained, and yet the only way to resolve the
mysteries/paradox of Life is to embrace the journey (to SEE the
paradoxical nature of One - it appears as two).
Love and Gratitude,
Mazie Lane HarshaSatsangh
Ram Gopal - The Sleepless Saint
"The devotee inclines to think his path to God is the only way," he
said. "Yoga, through which divinity is found within, is doubtless the
highest road: so Lahiri Mahasaya has told us. But discovering the
Lord within, we soon perceive Him without. Holy shrines at Tarakeswar
and elsewhere are rightly venerated as nuclear centers of spiritual
The saint's censorious attitude vanished; his eyes became
compassionately soft. He patted my shoulder.
"Young yogi, I see you are running away from your master. He has
everything you need; you must return to him. Mountains cannot be your
guru." Ram Gopal was repeating the same thought which Sri Yukteswar
had expressed at our last meeting.
"Masters are under no cosmic compulsion to limit their residence." My
companion glanced at me quizzically. "The Himalayas in India and
Tibet have no monopoly on saints. What one does not trouble to find
within will not be discovered by transporting the body hither and
yon. As soon as the devotee is willing to go even to the ends of the
earth for spiritual enlightenment, his guru appears near-by."
I silently agreed, recalling my prayer in the Benares hermitage,
followed by the meeting with Sri Yukteswar in a crowded lane.
"Are you able to have a little room where you can close the door and
"Yes." I reflected that this saint descended from the general to the
particular with disconcerting speed.
"That is your cave." The yogi bestowed on me a gaze of illumination
which I have never forgotten. "That is your sacred mountain. That is
where you will find the kingdom of God."
First I am moved to say that your response to Eric had a poignancy which
touched me. If what passed through me added any discomfort, may I apologize.
Through all movements and nonmovements with you, over all these years,
there is always this return to a centrality of acceptance, gratitude, openness,
love and abiding.
And it is to this essence of movement that I segue with your interesting
offerings of Steiner's vision. It has been a long time since I studied Rudolf
Steiner, but have often felt that his complex system offered one of the threads
which lead me to Advaita. A continued perception and witnessing of the 'forces'
inherent in our incarnation.. balanced by 'abiding' the Interval.. or as Steiner
refers to It - the Christ impulse. I wondered why you didn't mention that facet of
his 'metaphor'. As Steiner states or indicates below.. the "world could not exist"
without these forces; and it is through the Grace of abiding (knowing the Christ
impulse) that "man" overcomes himself... and the 'world' is seen through living
It seems here that these rhythmic 'force' movements of extremes also occur as
potentia in both Anthroposophy and Advaita. One risking the contraction of
minutia, the other risking the expansion of noninvolvement. We see this rhythm
on lists as well, through ourselves, in how we, as individual nodes of
consciousness steer or interact with 'the conversation'. Each moment an
opportunity for balance of clear seeing.
Yesterday you wrote:
"I find it curious, however... that the nondual is seemingly
ignored in the arguments proffered in the recent threads...
instead, cautionary statements, similar to mine above, are
In the sight of the nondual, the MATRIX topic is already
resolved... it is 'merely' the ongoing conversation between
elements of the dual... and thus symptomatic of the 'virtual
separation' perceived to also be included in the nondual...
If we propose an 'ending'... either good or bad... we dishonor
the greater whole... whose growth-dynamic and evolution
may require every painful step that we see... to judge that
one or the other of the opposing forces be 'stifled' or
disempowered, is to fall prey to taking the metaphor of
symbolic communication, to be 'real'.
the This is not to say... that we cannot observe and discuss the
ongoing conversation that the vast universe entertains within
itself. Indeed... our own communication... is an outpicturing of
this powerful talent... and would that it be seen as such... "
As you are endeavoring on your new list to shake off the linguistic flotsam
which tempts automatic embedded responses, I wonder as well, if a
'conversation' might eventually be heard from which we have stepped back far
enough to observe the larger patterns unfolding, even as we wander the
occasion cul-de-sacs of dual forces. Steiner also refers to these forces as
temperatures, a language model a bit less charged. Ram Dass once said, the
balance is when one arrives at a place of observation where one can note "Ah,
there's sadness. Ah, there's joy. Ah, note how they reveal the Center". I often
use temperature readings to discern the force being activated. Ah, too much
heat there. Ah, the frigidity of indifference or arrogance there. Ah, the vital
warmth of the still flowing river."
Perhaps we each observe these movements and do not speak them. Perhaps it
is redundant to do so. Still, I wonder if a greater seeing of the system might
unfold in doing so.
Below are a few Steiner quotes relevant to this thread.
Much love, Christiana
To this day there has been much talk about Christianity and the Christ impulse,
but man has not yet gained a clear understanding of what the Christ impulse has
brought into the world as the result of the Mystery of Golgotha. Certainly, it is
generally admitted that there is a Lucifer or an Ahriman, but in so doing, it is
made to appear that from these two one must flee, as if one wished to say, I
want nothing to do with Lucifer and Ahriman! In yesterday's public lecture
(see Note 1) I described the way in which the divine-spiritual forces can be
found. If these forces did not want to have anything to do with Lucifer and
Ahriman, either, the world could not exist. One does not gain the proper
relationship to Lucifer and Ahriman by saying, Lucifer, I flee from you!
Ahriman, I flee from you! Rather, everything that man has to strive for as a
result of the Christ impulse must be seen as similar to the equilibrious state of a
pendulum. In the center, the pendulum is in perfect balance, but it must oscillate
to one side or the other. The same applies to man's development here on earth.
Man must oscillate to the one side according to the luciferic principle and to the
other according to the principle of Ahriman, but he must maintain his equilibrium
through the cultivation of Paul's declaration, Not I, but Christ in me.
The Christ, however, towers in the middle as the One who is carrying the
Parcival principle into the new age and who, not through His power but through
His very being, induces others to overcome themselves, rather than being
overcome by Him. <snip> There has to be a clear understanding that we cannot
turn our attention just to the Christ, but must set our sight on the threefold
configuration: Christ, Lucifer, Ahriman. I can only hint at this, but spiritual
science will eventually bring to light the full content of the mystery, Christ in
relation to Lucifer and Ahriman.
from Rudolf Steiner's The Fifth Gospel
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|Dr. Robert Puff|